After packing our luggage onto the coach and having breakfast we headed to the disused airstrip for a few hours birding this morning. We didn’t get anything new but had some nice looks at some previously seen species. Then we headed away from the national park and drove north through increasingly arid savannah, stopping at a small village to scope some Red-chested Swallows sat on telegraph wires. And that was the format for most of the days birding, simply stopping to check any interesting birds as we sped northwards towards Bolgatanga.
So our frequent stops produced Grasshopper Buzzard, Lizard Buzzard, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Red-necked Falcon, Long-crested Eagle and Western Marsh Harrier.
Lunch was taken at a nice hotel in a small town before continuing our journey. We did spend half an hour at Nasia Bridge which gives a good view of a large lake on one side and a small marsh on the other. A pair of African Pygmy Goose were star attractions here, but we also enjoyed nice looks at a male Black-headed Weaver, Black-rumped Waxbill, Yellow-crowned Bishop, flocks of Red-billed Quelea coming down to drink, and a brief Black Crake.
There was also Great and Intermediate Egrets, Black-winged Kite, distant Spur-winged Goose, and others.
|Northern Red Bishop|
Just along the road we had to stop the coach when a fabulous Exclamatory Paradise-Whydah was seen flying parallel to the road and we jumped out to get fantastic views as it flew around, well dancing in the sky would be more accurate with an extraordinary long tail – what a sight! Then it took another hour and a half to reach the Tongo Hills, a scenic area of large boulders and rocks and our arrival at 4.30pm was perfect as the heat of the day had passed. There were plenty of Gosling’s Buntings (a recent split from Cinnamon-breasted Bunting), a few White-rumped Swifts, but the 3 Fox Kestrels we found took some beating and in many people’s top 5 birds to see on the tour. But we couldn’t locate Rock-loving Cisticola so will have to return. It was just a short drive to the nearby town of Bolgatanga where we spend the next two nights.